Slayers: City of Lost Souls Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: C
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: CPM Press
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 184
  • ISBN: 1-58664-915-9
  • Size: Tall B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Slayers: City of Lost Souls Vol. #01

By Megan Lavey     October 01, 2004
Release Date: June 01, 2004


Slayers: City of Lost Souls Vol.#01
© CPM Press


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Hajime Kanzaka
Translated by:Shoko Yoshinaka
Adapted by:

What They Say
Trouble seems to follow Lina Inverse wherever she goes. After being hired to find and capture a troublesome thief, Lina runs into a mysterious figure from her past. What secret power does this stranger hold? And if that wasn't bad enough, Gourry loses Lina's favorite sword and must fight in a series of highly unusual duels to get it back!

The Review
Packaging:
This is a very basic book, featuring a shot of Lina with chibi-sized versions of the other cast memebrs. The back also features the entire cast in a typical pose, along with the summary. It's organized and it gets the job done, but it really doesn't stand out much from the other books on the shelf.

Artwork:
Yoshinkaka's art has a little bit of shoujo style to it, with the characters being very expressive, and lots of big eyes, etc. While the characters look good, the action scenes are pretty rushed and tend to suffer. There is a lot of action going on, and it's not conveyed very well. The layout is somewhat confusing as well, since at times, you have no idea who is speaking. The problem isn't as bad as it is in books such as Kizuna.

Text:
This is a good translation, with the SFX subtitled. One of the things that stood out for me regarding the text treatment is the signs that Gourry reads in the first chapter of the story. Instead of attempting to crowd an English translation next to the Japanese translation of the sign, the retouching is done so that there is a second sign with the English text. It is non-intrusive and blends in well with the existing artwork - and it doesn't obscure the original at all. Mark Griffin did the retouching and lettering on this volume, and I appreciate the extra effort to preserve the original artwork.

Content: (May contain spoilers)
Slayers is a fandom that I've always wanted to explore, and I managed to get a triple dose of it by seeing the first few episodes of the anime, receving this volume of the manga and also purchasing the first volume of the TOKYOPOP-translated novels.

This story is actually the fifth in the original Slayers manga series. Despite this, it was extremely easy to dive into the storyline. The first couple of chapters are extremely funny, and I kept laughing as Gourry managed to get himself in one stupid situation after another. It's a filler chapter, bridging the story that was in the previous volume to the main story arc in this one, centering around Gourry losing Lina's sword. Lina is out for the count, as she is recovering from events in said book, so he's doing his best to get it back on his own.

The rest of the book introduces a new character that anime fans are familiar with - Amelia Weir Tessla Seyruun. She encounters Lina and Gourry on their way to Atlas City, after she discovers there is a bounty out for them after fighting Rezo. Amelia is really a good foil for Lina. Gourry tends to be on the blockheaded side while Amelia is simply naieve. But, she does try hard, as her wits are tested through the story. They meet up with a young woman, Syphiel, whose village is being terrorized by what appears to be Rezo revived. Except...Lina and co. had killed him. How was he still there? The gang, with Zelgadis coming back into the story along the middle of the book, is out to find out.

Comments
There were times when I got lost in this book due to somewhat confusing nature of the layout and the fact that I hadn't followed this series from the beginning. But despite that, this book was very good, and I was really surprised with how engaging it is. It's a classic fanasty story based in a medieval world, and unlike Treasure Hunter, another adventure series that CPM has released this year, it's easier to care for the characters. That's what elevates this adventure series above Treasure Hunter. You can laugh at Gourry and Amelia's hijinks, but identify as Lina tries to overcome her...lack of womanly attributes to succeed as a sorcerer.

But, when compared to the original novels, or even the anime, the action does not come across so well. There's a lot of energy going on throughout the book, but somehow, it's just not conveyed very well. With the novels, it plays out in your imagination while on the screen, it's laid out frame by frame.

So far, the manga version of Slayers seems to be the weaker of the three forms that the franchise is available in. But, it doesn't stop Slayers from being a good story that is funny and entertaining. It's enough to prompt me to go back and read the manga from the beginning, as well as follow the novels. It's a good series to introduce to fanasty fans who aren't familiar with anime.

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